What did summer do to us, my dear book bloggers? I think 97.5% of us have hit a reading or blogging slump that we’re struggling to get out of, and while slumping is nothing new this seems pretty widespread. Earlier, Andi from Estella’s Revenge posted about Blogging Differently and received tons of responses that echoed her feelings about the struggle to keep reviews fresh.
My blog is still under two years old, but I feel like we’ve been talking about this slow decline in book reviews since I started blogging (and probably long before that). The conversations around dwindling pageviews and comments on review posts? I remember noting them in my first few months of blogging. I haven’t abandoned book reviews but, honestly, they’re the posts I feel most uncomfortable with. They’re the posts that feel the least “me” and I know I need to focus on talking about books in more creative ways.
I know some of you are rocking and rolling with great reviews and actually enjoy writing them. By all means, keep on. But for those of us slumping in Slumpland because we’re bored or uncomfortable, maybe we need to shake things up. Like Andi mentioned, coming up with unique content feels nearly impossible with all the book bloggers out there, but aren’t there dozens of bloggers posting reviews for the books we read? I think we just need a shift in perspective.
Rather than this fast-paced cycle of reading and reviewing, maybe we need to throw a bit more thinking in the middle. Michele from Reader’s Respite just wrote two fantastic posts On Essays, Slowing Down and Reading Purposefully that seem to drive this home. Even if deep literary analysis isn’t your thing, I think taking the time to slow down and do more thinking about our reading can be beneficial for all of us, especially in terms of post ideas. It’s hard to be creative if we’re constantly set on finishing one book to review it and move on to the next.
It’s likely going to take a little time, but I’m aiming for more discussion based posts and non-traditional reviews—even on new books!—or reviews that take a deeper look at the text, while still maintaining my voice. Some of my favorite (and most viewed posts) have been those that prompted discussion between readers and I would love to have those be a regular thing. Ashley from Nose Graze just wrote a great post on incorporating discussions that I’ll definitely be referring to.
This wasn’t meant to be a big announcement about changing my own blog, I was just whipped up by posts from the past few days and think we’re long overdue for a shift as book bloggers in general. We can’t all be feeling this way for this long—there are still too many books to be read.